Arterial stiffening increases with age and is associated with increased cardiovascular risk. Several risk factors have been shown to predict the development of arterial stiffening; however, a positive family history (FH+) of cardiometabolic disease (CMD) and hypertension has not been extensively studied. We hypothesize that FH+ of CMD plays a significant role in the development of arterial stiffening in offspring.
We used data from the population-based Malmö Diet Cancer study (n = 3056) examined in 1992–1996 and again in 2007–2012. Several variables were analysed, including anthropometrics, carotid–femoral pulse wave velocity and FH+. The association between FH+ of CMD and arterial stiffening in the offspring was analysed with analysis of covariance in SPSS. FH+ was subdivided into three categories: family history for cardiovascular events (FH-CVEs), family history for diabetes mellitus type 2 (FH-DM2) and family history for hypertension (FH-HT). The first analysis of covariance-model was adjusted for age, sex, mean arterial pressure and heart rate; the second model additionally adjusted for self-reported medical history in the offspring.
Data indicated that FH-CVE (F = 14.64, P < 0.001), FH-DM2 (F = 18.57, P < 0.001) and FH-HT (F = 13.92, P < 0.001) all significantly increased carotid–femoral pulse wave velocity levels. The results remained when additional adjustment was made for confounders and for self-reported CMD in the index participants, respectively, for FH-CVE (F = 12.47, P < 0.001), FH-DM2 (F = 7.62, P = 0.006) as well as for FH-HT (F = 7.30, P = 0.007).
These findings indicate that a FH+ of cardiometabolic conditions and hypertension affects arterial stiffness in offspring independently of haemodynamic factors and self-reported CMD in the offspring without sex differences.